March 08, 2012

Bench with the Fur

First, let me say that no animals were harmed in the making of this bench. It started with a used coffee table and a thrift store mink coat...
I attended a wonderful upholstery class at
The Passionate Home in Langley.
I was instructed to bring a chair cushion and some fabric but completely failed to follow instructions and showed up with a bench and some fur lol. Way to pay

Anyway Reid, from Once Again Furniture & Upholstery was an amazing and patient instructor and with the help of my girlfriend Desja I went home with the bench seat padding in place and the courage to open the air compressor and gun that I got for Christmas...I'm unstoppable now!


This is the first time I have worked with fur as a fabric and it was actually not as difficult as I had anticipated.

I started by separating the fur from the lining of the coat - being careful to save the vintage buttons of course.

When I finished separating the widest part of the coat from the rest (basically from the armpits down) I had a shrug left over.

I laid the fur out on the bench but it wasn't quite wide enough to reach the edges because of it's curved hemline. Also there were slits in the fur where the pockets had been...

So I went to bed and slept on it. Now here is the weird part - I literally woke up at 2:30 in the morning with a very clear idea of what to do with the rest of this project.

When I was younger I lived in northern Manitoba near Churchill and the trapping hunting thing was a big part of life there. I guess I was thinking about this as I fell asleep and this lead to thoughts about the Canadian Fur Trade, and The Hudson's Bay Co. which was the original fur trading company established here in Canada in 1670.

So I raced out to my shop the next morning and repainted the legs and the table skirting using a cream and the signature Bay striped colors...
after I mixed them properly.

Sanded distressed and waxed to give them a rustic look...

I printed out The Hudson's Bay logo on drop cloth fabric.
Yes - I know this isn't really allowed and I don't intend to mass produce this product and sell them so if you are in charge at The Bay (Bonnie Brooks),
 please just consider this a tribute to the Canadian Fur trade and don't sue me...I don't have any money anyway so...just be flattered and hire me to be your creative director - if you want, or just go away and forget you saw this...whatever.

Next, I sewed the logo piece of fabric to a
larger piece of fabric,

and used it to fill in the middle section of the bench where the fur didn't quite cover.

Now unfortunately this bench was finished just in time to go to it's new home and I didn't get a proper after picture of it, but I think you can get the idea from the pic below and from all the during pictures.

I absolutely love the way this turned out and hope that you can somewhat be inspired by my poor photography and sleepy inspiration.

Why do the best ideas come when I'm sleeping? Does this happen to anyone else?

I'm sharing this at:

Photobucket shabby creek cottage Furniture Feature Fridays

Funky Junk's Sat Nite SpecialSunday's Best Linky Party!It's Overflowing



  1. Great ideas in this one! I reuse vintage fur coats. It grosses my vegetarian daughter out but I think it's better than seeing them all go to landfill. Hope you don't go to the slammer for logo theft. lol ~ Maureen

  2. What a lovely idea! I love the meshing of the two textures! And yes, I too am guilty of getting up in the middle of the night because of an idea. I think it drives my husband bananas but it is also something that he finds endearing about me. ;-) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow! What a creative use for that coat. I think we have our best light bulb moments in the middle of the night; happens to me all the time. When I think too hard about something, my mind shuts down,haha. Excellent late night thinking!!

  4. AAAAHHHHH!!! Elisa, I feel so fortunate to have seen the famous bench in person, LOL!!!
    I LOVE this idea!
    I also LOVE your sense of humour, I always laugh out loud when I read your posts!!!
    Have a great weekend!

  5. I love the HBC painted legs on the bench - looks fantastic with the fur.

  6. I love this idea! I also love the Hudson's Bay logo--It really is almost iconic for Canadians!

  7. I think it's a great idea to use a thrifted mink coat to cover your bench!!! Great job!


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